Chapter 7 – What's In These Sewers Anyway?

*Blizzard's not mine. Shadowbunny and Carmien are based on player created characters. Contains spoilers for The Battle of Undercity quest line.

Ruins of Lordaeron, Tirisfal Glades

Shadowbunny surveyed the Ruins of Lordaeron from the small knoll where the Alliance forces were gathering with their King. So hard to believe that this scene of destruction was once a vibrant capital city like Stormwind or Ironforge. "This is what we are fighting to prevent from ever happening again to Ironforge or Stormwind, Darnassus or even Ogrimmar," she said quietly to Carmien.

After Xanatos had awakened her, she had dressed in her best battle leathers, prepared the poisons that would turn her combat from destructive to deadly, and headed for Tirisfal to meet up with the Alliance forces. She had been willing for many years to sacrifice her life in the defense and protection of the people of Azeroth, but she realized this would not be a fight to bring justice. This would also be a fight for vengeance.

She sighed, knowing that the line of thinking was dangerous to the mission. She went through fighting sequences in her head to distract and calm her nerves. Cold Blood – Ambush – Mutilate – Kidney Shot – Mutilate – Slice n Dice – Mutilate - Rupture – Mutilate – Envenom…

Varian Wrynn's voice rang across the field, "Heroes of the Alliance, your King calls!" She listened to his motivational speech. They were bringing justice to Putress for the deaths caused at the Wrath Gate. He finshed with, "For the Glory of the Alliance!" And it was started.

As she burned her quick run ability to keep pace with the longer legs of her human companions, Shadowbunny remembered well the parting words of Mathias, "Your first job is the safety of the King. Stay close. Kill well."

As the undead minions and other waves of horrors broke upon them, she was in the blur of combat. All training and instinct took over. As she took out an Abomination on the King's left side with a final slice, she threw a dagger at a ghoul coming up behind Carmien. At last the battle was finished as the King delivered a killing blow to Putress bellowing, "And justice is served."

Shadowbunny remained at the ready, because they were still in enemy territory. She looked for and noted Carmien's position, with his armor slightly battered and bloody but alive. Suddenly Thrall's voice rang through the halls, "The Undercity belongs to the Horde once more! LOK'TAR!"

She glanced with alarm at Varian's face and noted Jaina making the same movement. The King bellowed, "Thrall, here? We end this now."

Jaina raised her voice to him, "No, Varian, I won't help you do this."

And she remained behind as the party moved forward. Shadowbunny glanced back at her, but her duty was protecting the King no matter the circumstances. As they reached the throne room, she could make out Thrall, Sylvanas, and their forces. The King's time spent as a gladiatorial slave clouded his judgement. All traces of the diplomat were gone as he engaged Thrall and the Horde with a shouted promise to clear Azeroth of their taint.

Shadowbunny spun and kicked the warlock casting a shadowbolt meant for the King as Jaina's voice rang out in the throne room, "Varian, NO, STOP!" As both Alliance and Horde forces were incapacitated by her freeze spell, Jaina continued more quietly, "It did not have to be like this." And then the Alliance forces were in Stormwind.

Chapter 8 – Does Diplomacy Have a Place Here

Shadowbunny's Northrend Quarters, Heroes' Rest Inn, Dalaran

*We don't actually see the confrontation in game between Varian and Jaina. I'm sure there was one. As ever, the world, characters, people, and places are Blizzard's not mine.

Even though that day's events were exhausting, sleep did not come easy that night. The gnome stared at the ceiling letting the memories roll through her mind. After the abrupt teleport back to Stormwind, all troops including her and Carmien had been curtly dismissed for Varian and Jaina to be allowed privacy for the argument that was to follow.

She remembered her conversation with Jaina before the archmage left to return to Theramore.

"My Lady, after all the King has been through with the Horde, expecting rational action and diplomacy is probably….," Shadowbunny trailed off.

"I know. But we cannot afford to fragment our forces, there is no way the Alliance can fight a fight on two fronts and win while facing The Lich King and Scourge," Jaina looked pained, "We must find a way to help Varian see that this Horde is not the Horde that destroyed the cities he loved or his family."

"Honestly, my lady. You're going to have a hard time convincing the common people as well." Shadowbunny replied. "They love their King, and they are proud that he acts."

"We both know that the only way Azeroth has survived the Burning Legion and the last invasion of the Scourge was by joining forces," Jaina spoke firmly, "it must happen again!"

"Please share the details of my discussion with Varian with Matthias. Perhaps he can help with a solution. I must return to my duties now." With a grim nod, the mage teleported.

With a grimace, Shadowbunny gave up on sleep and got up to stir her fire back to life. She grabbed the oil for her leathers and sat at the table working on her gear. After an hour of work, she was finally yawning. She set her gear aside, washed her hands at the basin, and fell asleep.

A sudden banging on her door startled her from sleep. "What the..." she thought as she noted the sunlight streaming in and called out, "Just a moment, I'm coming."

Another series of knocks sounded as she padded to the door buckling her dagger belt to her waist as she went. It was Carmien. "Car, what in the Name of Light is wrong? I was sleeping, and I'm off duty today." She stuck her tongue out at him.

"Sorry, SB. I thought you'd want to see this right away." Carmien replied as he waved the parchment he was carrying in her face.

She grabbed it and started reading. It was a proclamation. From Varian.

"People of the Alliance, I am sure you have heard of the Wrathgate and Undercity battles recently held. We have lost sons and daughters, friends, brothers and sisters. Have no fear! Their sacrifice shall not have been in vain. We are facing a great threat in the Lich King and his Scourge. But We will protect you. We will never stop in Our efforts to bring justice to beasts, villains, and any foes that rise against Us."

She groaned, and laid her head on the table. "Carmien, prepare yourself for a holy war in addition to the war against the Scourge. This is not going to be pretty. I don't see how Jaina can possibly diffuse this one."

And they looked at each other with the dismay that the proclamation had brought.

About the same time an ocean away, Jaina Proudmoore, ruler of Theramore, was reading a similar parchment delivered by a mage courier of Stormwind.